Acid Flashback Friday: Jose Canseco’s 1998 season

It was arguably one of the most successful single seasons for a player in a Blue Jays uniform, yet nobody ever seems to ever mention it.

Why? Because it has a giant asterisk* next to it.

For this week’s Acid Flashback Friday, we take a look back at Jose Canseco’s short tenure with the Toronto Blue Jays.


Canseco was signed by the Blue Jays on February 4th 1998 on a one year deal worth over $2 million dollars. Jose was brought in as the Blue Jays new designated hitter after Joe Carter left the team as a free agent and signed with the Baltimore Orioles.

While Jose Canseco had a relatively productive season with the Toronto Blue Jays, it was overshadowed by the home run race between Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa. Despite the whirlwind of steroid allegations surrounding his counterparts, Canseco claims he was clean during his stint with the Blue Jays.

Although he was just one off the single season club record of 47 home runs set by George Bell, Canseco still has the honor of having the Blue Jays club record for most strikeouts in a season with 159.

Perhaps more importantly than what happened on the field were the off-field allegations Jose Canseco was associated with during his time in Toronto

If you’ve read his book “Juiced” or the follow up “Vindicated”, then you know all about what was happening behind the scenes inside the Blue Jays clubhouse during the 1998 season.

One of the most hotly contested situations involving Jose Canseco was the infamous party at his Florida home in the summer of 1998 while on the road. Allegedly Roger Clemens was at the party which was being held for the Blue Jays players and their families.

Clemens on the other hand, adamantly denied this, going as far as to testifying in court saying that he never attended the party.

Regardless of whether or not Jose Canseco was using performance enhancing drugs during his time with the Toronto, he did what he was ultimately paid to do – hit home runs. And for that, I salute him.

Remember, if you have any suggestions you’d like to see on “Acid Flashback Friday”, feel free to send them to


Ian Hunter

Ian has been writing about the Toronto Blue Jays since 2007. He enjoyed the tail-end of the Roy Halladay era and vividly remembers the Alex Rodriguez "mine" incident. He'll also retell the story of Game 5 of the 2015 ALDS to his kids for the next 20 years.

4 thoughts on “Acid Flashback Friday: Jose Canseco’s 1998 season

  • May 29, 2010 at 8:11 am

    The odd thing is that Canseco's year is more superficially impressive than anything else. Those power numbers are impressive, but his batting average was so low (.237) that even his decent batting eye couldn't give him a good OBP.

  • May 29, 2010 at 2:55 pm

    Steve, just out of curiosity I looked into it, and Canseco had his second lowest AVG in Toronto. Luckily, his OBP was above .300, so that average was somewhat excusable.

    But boy, did he hit some dingers!

  • May 29, 2010 at 3:22 pm

    Ahh the '98 Jays! Jose with Green and Delgado hitting mad dingers… actually kind of like this year's team so far, but with known players.

  • May 30, 2010 at 1:17 am

    Ted, actually you're right – there is an odd similarity between the 2010 Jays and the 1998 Jays in the terms of home run hitters. Hopefully they can keep up this pace!

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